Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Angel of Pennsylvania Avenue is an heart-warming Christmas movie that was filmed in 1996 based on the depression. There are amazing parallels to the economic conditions of today. Wonderful story about family, faith and love.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ok, I said I was ok with this, but that was in day one or two or three. This is getting to be a bit much.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Love Letter

I miss my friend Marie. She passed away on October 31st this year. She was such a loving soul, always calling to check in to see how we were doing and what we were up to. We spent many of our holidays with her (center of photo) and with her sister Martha. Marie loved life, photography, hiking, flowers and was deeply loyal to her friends. When she found out she had cancer earlier this year, she chose not to fight it. She wanted to spend her time with family and friends and trust the process of release.

I know you are free now Marie. I cherish the fond memories and your deep love. You continue to be a blessing.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friendship and Women

I read about a study done at UCLA that suggests that women respond to stress with a cascade of brain chemicals that cause us to make and maintain friendships with other women. Women have known this all along but it was interesting to learn that researchers left out women when performing their studies on stress. Now they have learned that women respond to stress so much differently than men.

I believe that we are so much more powerful when we support each other. I am so grateful for all the wonderful, powerful, amazing women in my life!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Let It Snow!

Growing up in upstate New York, I would become quite upset when winter storms showed up and disrupted my plans. I took it personally that I couldn't get out or do the things I wanted.

It is very beautiful around our house today. Watching the snow fall and feeling a sense of non-attachment to it, is truly a blessing. It allows me to be in the moment and not stress over having to do anything. I can just be. What a powerful practice of peace.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Is Your Ship Sinking??

Have you heard the phrase rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic? It means we are spending so much time arranging and re-arranging our outward conditions while we are slowing sinking into the abyss of unrecognized fear and outdated beliefs. It happens when we are attempting to ‘fix’ what isn’t working. Some time ago I worked with a client that was having trouble in her marriage. Rather than seek counseling or face the truth about their relationship, they went on vacation in Italy, racking up a great deal of debt, physically and emotionally.
It is difficult to stabilize on unstable territory. Eventually, we have to go into the dark to do the deep work and face the fears and beliefs that are holding us back.

I see this happening frequently in today’s economy. There is a reason for the shake-up. The Universe is giving us the opportunity to empty down to the core to find the real truth for ourselves.

Eric Butterworth says, "There is only one way by which you can achieve prosperity. It is to take charge of your mind. You may be looking for some magic formula, some new metaphysical cliché’ that will change things. But if you want to change our life, you will have to alter your thoughts."

I believe in order to alter our thoughts we have to get to the core of what we believe. Doing our inner work will remarkable change our outer circumstances.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I am Willing to Receive

I talked with a friend the other day that just had major surgery. A challenging part of healing is to receive care from her husband. He has been taking care of her and making sure she is comfortable. On the surface, it seems like a no-brainer. Of course he should take care of her. But when you are used to being the person caring for everyone else, it becomes a challenge.

I had that experience last week when I visited my friend at the coast. I found it difficult to have her prepare our meals and clean up. It took a lot of energy to sit still and not help.

Receiving is a spiritual practice and prepares us for receiving even more of God’s blessings.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I am Grateful

I am grateful for the ability and freedom to write, for extraordinary courageous and handsome husband Laurence, for my family and friends, for my spiritual mentor and spiritual teachers, for my amazing clients and their willingness to show up,for our new President and his family, for my spiritual journey and connection with God's Grace. I am so grateful God is so gracious.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Letting Go

A client recently shared that she realized she was hanging on to old hurts. It's so hard to let those go. I was talking with a friend over the weekend and realized I still was holding on to hurt feelings from another friend. Hanging on to old pain just multiplies the pain. I heard myself tell the story AGAIN of what she said. This time it was the last. I decided in that moment I don't want to repeat this story any longer. I accept as I let go of this old hurt just as I watch this tree outside my window let go of its leaves. I make room for newness in my life. I am grateful for my spiritual path and the practices along the way.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rejuvenate and restore

I went to the coast to visit a friend over the weekend. I forgot what it is like to take the time to rest, relax and rejuvenate. Life is so full. It takes commitment to schedule time away from all the activity of life. I plan to make it a regular practice...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Don't worry--just pray

I've talked with so many people that have voiced their excitement about our new president. In the next breath, they whisper 'I hope he'll be ok.'

We all worry. I have trained myself (ok, I am still training myself) to visualize what I want instead of what I don't want. One way that helps is the Prayer of Protection. Rather than seeing all the bad stuff that can happen, this prayer allows us to send light and love. Try it. Let me know what you think.

The light of God surrounds you,
The love of God enfolds you,
The power of God protects you,
The presence of God watches over you.
Wherever you are, God is.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pray the Devil Back to Hell

I read an amazing article in O Magazine (Dec) about a documentary about a group of ordinary Liberian women who managed to stop the country's 14-year civil war. Pray the Devil Back to Hell tells the story of Gbowee, a mother of five, who realized the war kept her children in poverty their entire lives. She took action with street marches and prayer vigils and created a movement that stopped the civil war.

What an extraordinary example of what we can do and how every action can make a difference in the world. When I have the listing of when the movie will be back in Portland, I will let you know.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Heard Lee Woodruff (wife of Bob Woodruff ABC news co-anchor) speak at Voices the other night. What an inspiring story!! She said three things that are important to not to say to a caregiver in the middle of crisis:
Don't say 'Call Me' - pray instead
Don't say What do you need - just find out from another friend and do it.
Don't say You have sure been through a lot this year - they don't need a reminder.

She shared an amazing story of love, devotion and faith.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Next Day

What was it like to wake up on Nov 5. Sorry Sasha and Malia, I can’t play with you today. I have a new job I have to prepare for. I’m the new President of the United States.

Never before have I wondered about the incoming president. I certainly didn’t care what George Bush was thinking or doing. He wasn’t available or even real to me. Obama is real. What he does matters. How is family is doing is important.
Barak Obama opened the hearts of the world. I listened to BBC radio as listeners called in from around the world to celebrate the new president. I cried as I listened. The news journalist asked the man from Kenya, why is Obama becoming president so important to you. He is not president of your country. The man from Kenya replied, "He is setting the example for all the leaders of the world. They have to pay attention now."

Less than 24 hours after he was elected, people were wondering how he was going to deal with all the issues facing him. What they don’t realize is that he lives in the realm of possibilities. He knows that there are all kinds of options and opportunities available. He knows that principle is not bound by precedent. When we live in the realm of universal principle, we’re not bound by solutions of the past. Anything is possible. I am grateful for the new world we live in.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Class: Revealing the Spirit of Christmas

Do you ever feel like the true meaning of Christmas has all but disappeared?

Christmas is about being guided and directed by Spirit. It is about lives having greater meaning, about generosity, about giving way to a higher idea. Christmas is about love and loyalty, about finding safety in a chaotic time and about revealing wisdom.

We do not give birth to our awareness of Divinity in the hustle and bustle of the commercial world, or the noise of our everyday life. This class is an opportunity to get away from the busy time of the holidays and makes a way for an uplift of our consciousness.

The purpose of this class is to move beyond the stress-filled experience of the holidays into an enlightened awareness of the mystical message of Christmas. Please join us for a peaceful and sacred day!

Date: Saturday, December 6, 2008
Time: 10 a.m - 4 p.m.
Fee: $45 includes materials and lunch
Location: NE Portland

Monday, October 27, 2008

Prayer of Protection

I often have requests for this prayer. It is easy-to-remember prayer to use for yourself, a loved one, when traveling or when an issue is persistently nagging at you.

The light of God surrounds you,
The love of God enfolds you,
The power of God protects you,
The presence of God watches over you.
Wherever you are, God is.
And all is well. Amen.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Celebrating Ourselves

How easy it is to give up our power. We talked about this in class last week. We are often afraid to ask for what we want so we become a doormat for others. We give away our time, money, energy, ideas, thinking that I’m not good enough to hold on to them. It is so important honor our own thinking and feelings. In A Woman’s Worth, Marianne Williamson says “A woman who cannot honor her own feelings will not find them honored by anyone else.”

It takes daily practice to accept ourselves. To not beat ourselves up. To celebrate our wins and achievements. To rejoice in our discoveries. It takes persistence and practice. And the rewards are abundant!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Prayer for My Country

I invite you to join me and other New Thought Ministries around the country to join together in prayer every Sunday evening at 7 p.m. until the election. It doesn’t matter what time zone you are in. It only matters that you pray.

Below are two prayers to choose from. Use one or both or feel free to write your own. I invite you to take 5 – 10 minutes to contemplate the blessings of our country and of Freedom. There is amazing power in prayer and incredible power in group prayer. Thank you for joining me in this most important time and this most important practice.

Please feel free to forward this to your friends and family members.

My Prayer for My Country
by Ernest Holmes

Believing in the Divine destiny of the United States of America and in the preservation of liberty, security, and self-expression for all, I offer this, my prayer for my country:

I know that Divine Intelligence governs the destiny of the United States of America, directing the thought and the activity of all who guide its affairs.

I know that success, prosperity, and happiness are the gifts of freedom, the Divine heritage and is now operating in the affairs of every individual in this country.

I know that Divine guidance enlightens the collective mind of the people of this country, causing it to know that economic security may come to all without the loss of either personal freedom or individual self-expression.

I know that no one can believe or be led to believe that freedom must be surrendered in order to insure economic security for all.The All-Knowing Mind contains the answer to every problem which confronts this country.

I know that every leader in this country is now directed by this All-Knowing Mind and has the knowledge of a complete solution to every problem. Each is compelled to act upon this knowledge to the end that abundance, security, and peace shall come to all.

And I know that this spiritual democracy shall endure, guaranteeing to everyone in this country personal liberty, happiness, and self-expression. Amen.

My Prayer for Peace
by Rev Christine Green

I recognize at the center of all life is a Power for Good that is God. I know that God is revealed as Peace, Harmony and Wholeness. I know this Presence is individualized through me in every cell and fiber of my being. I know that each day I am guided and directed with what is mine to do. I surrender any idea of confusion, worry or concern that I might face and release it into the Divine Peace of God. I rest in calm trust and rely on the Law of Spirit to bring good into my experience of Life. I release any uncertainty about my future as well as any fear as a result of my past. I live in this very moment which is filled with good alone. I know this not only for myself but I know this Truth for my family, my community and my nation. I give thanks for the opportunity to live in Freedom and in Grace. I know that as this election draws near, God’s blessing is upon every individual in our country. I am truly grateful for the blessings of God this day. Amen.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Living in the Void

I was talking to a friend recently and she commented on how positive I was in the midst of Laurence’s health challenges. I got off the phone and thought about her comment. I remember when I not only had a dismal view of life, but also blamed everyone else for my woes. You know that little voice in the back of the brain? Well mine is a graduate of MSU (Making Stuff Up) with a Masters degree in Worry Like You Mean It and an undergrad in Run Fast: The Other Shoe Is About To Drop.
There are days when I get caught up with taking things personally, feeling left out, experiencing my victim self and blaming myself for whatever is happening in my life. That kind of thinking depleted energy and joy out of life!
The good thing is that I don’t stay in the victim thinking very long. Through the years of practicing on the spiritual path I know I can give myself permission to have a pity party and that soon it will be over. I think about the good things I have in my life. I think of all the people praying for Laurence and for me. I recite the Serenity Prayer and a list of other prayers that lift me up. I look to see what I can learn about myself the situation. I make a list of what I can change and how to change it.
I think the most important part of this work is the willingness to live in the void. To surrender. To acknowledge that I don’t know what is next and I have no control over it. In that moment I allow my human personality (ego) to fall away and let God step in. “I of myself can do nothing. It is the Father within that does the work.”
When I live in the void I allow God’s healing power to take charge. If I can take a moment in the silence, I return to the extraordinary place of peace and harmony. Instead of planning, changing and fixing, I allow myself to just be. God has much greater plans than I can ever imagine. I just have to live in the void long enough to listen and receive. Blessings to you for a gracious month of God’s Goodness and Grace.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Recess from the Recession

Downward trend, negative growth, significant decline are all terms used to define a recession. In other words, we take a ‘recess’ from spending money all at the same time. Why? The best I can figure out, the economic forecasters study the numbers and report on economic trends. When numbers are on the decline they report that a recession is looming and all the rest of us clutch our wallets, cease extraneous activity and hide under the covers until the forecasters say it’s ok to come out.

I’m glad there are people that crunch numbers and look out for us.
What’s unfortunate is the way the subject of recession is continually hashed and re-hashed until the message of doom and gloom follows us wherever we go.

Fear is a powerful force. In the M. Night Shyamalan movie, The Village, the elders of the town used fear as a way to control everyone and keep them from asking questions or wandering out of the village. The elders’ plan brought them great pain as their own children became victims of the contrived fear.

We can turn fear into faith by making conscious choices. Instead of focusing on the fear, why not take some positive action like committing to a monthly savings plan, balancing the checkbook, keeping a gratitude journal. When we are proactive we avoid being reactive to events around us.

Let’s take a recess from the recession. If we all put attention on faith in each other and in the universe, we could impact our own personal experience. As Ernest Holmes states “And the Light shed by this faith will light the way for others.” Blessings for an abundant month.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Releasing Doubt

I was noticing when doubt shows up. It is most noticeable when I need approval and recognition. I can make a decision but then I look over my shoulder to see if anyone noticed or if they approve. When I don’t receive any input or feedback, then I start to doubt. A whole lot of conversation goes on in the brain when there is no outward feedback.

The remedy is similar as handling worry. There are three steps: The first is to STOP the imagination from running wild. It takes discipline to tell the brain to stop obsessing. The second is to put my attention on Spirit. I find using the Prayer of Protection or reciting affirmations helps me to stop obsessing and find calmness. Calmness creates clarity which enables me to take action which is the third step. When I take action I move from the victim mode to feeling empowered.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Gift of Listening

In our Speaking with Intention class, we discussed the power of fully listening to what another is saying.

Very often we think we are listening but the mind is wandering to other topics. This is very prevalent today as we engage in multi-tasking in a very unhealthy way. We may be on the phone with someone, but responding to emails, reading mail, driving the car or engaging in any number of other tasks. It is rare to have a one-to-one conversation any more! We lose sight of the divinity of the other person when we listen in this way.

Other times we think we are listening but we are so reactive to what the person is saying that we are busy formulating a reply and not really listening to what they are saying at all. We’re cheating the person speaking out of truly hearing what they have to say.

The true gift of listening is where we are fully present and receptive to what another person is saying. We may not fully agree with what they are saying, but we honor and listen to their story.

Words of wisdom from Fred Rogers, host of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” :

“The greatest gift that you can give another person is to gracefully receive whatever it is that they want to give us.”

We are giving others the greatest possible gift by gracefully listening to them.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I was talking with a friend over the weekend and she was sharing about her new job and new home. She was very grateful for this sudden turn around in her life. I reminded her of her years of trial and error, of dedicated spiritual practice and of faith.

This is similar to when people say that an actor or actress was an ‘overnight’ success. There was nothing ‘overnight’ about it. It was long journey of hard work, patience and dedication. It always seems overnight because when good happens it is sudden and profound.

The same is true of our spiritual journey. It is so important to stay connected to our spiritual practice, intentions and purpose. The Good that we desire is may not happen on our timeline but it absolutely is on God’s time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Mountain of Doubt

It’s our two year anniversary of being in our new home. We love it and always feel such gratitude for it. But I remember when we were in the closing process when I began to feel a hesitant and uncertain about our purchase—maybe we were making a hasty decision. Then there were reservations about the paperwork. Suddenly it became this mountain of doubt, wondering about my ability to buy a loaf of bread let alone a house!! (By the way, I am grateful for my patient, non-judgmental husband who lets me work through my process!!)

Doubt is debilitating, disempowering and diminishing. Doubt makes us afraid to take a step forward in fear of what would happen. What if I make the wrong decision? What if things don’t work out? ‘What if’ is similar to the energizer bunny; it keeps going and going and going… It saps our energy and renders us ineffective.

How do we overcome this mountain of doubt? Faith. Faith is defined as believing unconditionally. Faith is knowing that the next step I take will lead me closer to my goal. Faith is believing that whatever I need will be provided. Faith is a deep conviction of belief.

Deepening faith doesn’t happen overnight. It is monitoring our emotions, reprogramming old thoughts into new ones. It is picking ourselves up when we feel beaten down or finding something to be grateful for in the midst of challenges.

Ernest Holmes states in the Science of Mind, “In order to have faith, we must have a conviction that all is well. In order to keep faith, we must allow nothing to enter our thought which will weaken the conviction.” I am grateful for tools to scale the mountain of doubt and find peace in the midst of uncertainty. Blessings for a peaceful and faith-filled journey.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Love as Intention

What a powerful Speaking with Intentions class ! We spent a majority of time discussing emotions. Often times we speak ‘off the cuff’ and in response to something or someone that has stirred up our emotions. As we deepen in spiritual practices we become an observer to emotions. The emotions we feel can give us information about our beliefs based on our past experiences. By spending time in meditation and journaling we can identify the experiences that caused the beliefs and have a greater understanding of our feelings and compassion for ourselves.

We also talked about setting intentions for our speaking. So that we speak from a loving centered place and not one of reaction.

In the book, The Prospering Power of Love, Catherine Ponder states, “As you begin developing love from within outward, you are truly proving your method to be spiritual, scientific, and satisfying. You no longer feel at the mercy of people, situations, and conditions. You become master of your world and free from hurt, fear, disappointment and disillusionment.”

Love is truly a powerful intention to speak from.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Piercing the Fog

Life can be so intense these days. We have instant news that is up close and personal, whether events happen in Iraq, Africa or West Virginia. Dealing with all of it can sometimes leave feeling like we are moving through a fog: a little unclear what step to take next and most uncertain about what is on the other side.

The fog clouds the mind and creates confusion, low energy, high anxiety and an inability to accomplish anything. The impulse is to shake off the fog as quickly as possible and get on with life. Don’t stop, don’t look back, move on ahead.

I recently found myself in such a frustrating state. I can’t afford to be in a fog when I need to be working on my goals, checking off my to-do list, leaping over tall buildings with a single bound and other such activities in my quest to serve the world.

I stopped where I was and took some time to meditate. By focusing on my breath instead of my thoughts, I felt more centered. With my mind at rest I felt more peace in my body. As I felt peace in my body, I was open to possibilities. I eventually got back to my list and my life.

Taking the time to meditate connects us with our divinity. We don’t have to do things alone, we can access the universal power that surrounds us and nurtures us. It is the power that pierces the fog and guides our journey with grace. Blessings for a clear and peaceful journey.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Daffodil Principle

A friend sent this to me a while ago. It's a great message.

The Daffodil Principle.....
Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. "I will come next Tuesday", I promised a little reluctantly on her third call.Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren."Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!"My daughter smiled calmly and said, "You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."
After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw
a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, "Daffodil Garden."We got out of the car, each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we turned a corner, I looked up and gasped.Before me lay the most glorious sight. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.

"Who did this?" I asked Carolyn. "Just one woman, " Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's
her home." Carolyn pointed to a well kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house.

On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking" was the headline. The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read. The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands,
two feet, and one brain." The third answer was, "Began in 1958."For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop.Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time--often just one baby-step at time--and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said.She was right. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use today?" Use the Daffodil Principle.
Stop waiting.....Until your car or home is paid off
Until you get a new car or home
Until your kids leave the house
Until you go back to school
Until you finish school
Until you clean the house
Until you organize the garage
Until you clean off your desk
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married
Until you get a divorce
Until you have kids
Until the kids go to schoolUntil you retire
Until summer
Until spring
Until winter
Until fall
Until you die...
There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So work like you don't need money Love like you've never been hurt, and Dance like no one's watching. If you want to brighten someone's day, pass this on to someone special. I just did!Wishing you a beautiful, daffodil day!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Love is an Inside Job

Do you ever find yourself sitting alone, waiting to be recognized and acknowledged? We want to be recognized for being enthusiastic, caring, and attractive and acknowledged for being motivated, a hard worker and a good provider.

We think being loved and appreciated has to come from someone else. So we go looking for love in all the wrong places. We search for someone to validate the fact that we deserve to be loved. We hunt for someone to toss us a small morsel of appreciation.

Years ago I worked in an office and I completed a difficult project in record time. My supervisor reviewed it, made some corrections and shipped it off. After lunch she handed me the next project without a word of appreciation. I resented her for the longest time.

The biggest obstacle that keeps us from love is hanging on to resentments from the past. It’s like wanting to buy new shoes but the closet if full of old shoes we don’t like anymore or they don’t fit or they are out of style. There’s no room for anything new. We have to purge the old shoes out in order to bring the new shoes in. And so it is with love. As we let go of old hurts and resentments we clear the way for love to come in.

Love is an inside job. It starts with letting go of the pain from the past. Then there is an opening to express love. As we acknowledge and appreciate others, we begin to receive it ourselves. And it is contagious! Try it and see for yourself. Blessings for an extraordinary month of Love!