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The Power of Non-Accomplishment

Posted January 31, 2015

sunset


I've lost count of the conversations I've had with people who want to write a book.

Are trying to write it.

Have been meaning to write it.

Can't seem to get it written.

Nearly everyone I know has something major yet to be accomplished.

Write a book.

Get in shape.

Start a business.

Why don't we humans accomplish more? Are we really so busy? Are we maybe just lazy?

Or if it's true that we attract what we really want in life, then does an absence of accomplishment mean we really are satisfied with humdrum lives of groceries, laundry, carpools and television?

Maybe it's fear. Our ideas and projects would take us into the unknown. And what if we finished them? Then what would we do?

I used to have conversations with my chiropractor about why people don't keep doing the things that make them feel good.

I went through a glorious period of daily carrot juice, exercise, subtle energy clearing and meditation, and I felt terrific. People told me I looked radiant!

I felt so good, in fact, I stopped doing those things. I guess I believed that feeling good was my natural state and had become permanent. No further effort required.

Of course, feeling good IS our natural state. We were created whole, perfect and complete.

But most of us regularly fall off the wagon of self-care and self-love. We get sucked into mass consciousness that says we should be doing more and we're not doing enough and get out there and ACHIEVE!

It occurs to me that only my ego is asking the question: Why don't I accomplish more?

Who is it that expects us to point to books or businesses or perfect children and say, “Look what I did!”

Is that how a life is measured?

The longer I'm on this spiritual path, the less important my achievements seem. Sure, I still have a bucket list of things I'd like to do, see, and accomplish before I die. But they're all in the physical realm.

Increasingly, I believe what's important is how I show up on the spiritual journey.

Maybe it doesn't matter where you live, which jobs you take, which people you marry, whether you write a book or DO any particular thing. Maybe all that matters is how you BE.

Our souls' intention – as spiritual beings having a human experience -- is to live in a consciousness of God, expressing our inner divinity as the essence of who we are.

Worldly achievements might be nice, but they're hardly the point of taking human form. The point is to BE God on Earth.

That should keep us plenty busy.


PS – While I encourage you not to measure your worth by your accomplishments, I have actually finished my next book, titled Hell in the Hallway, Light at the Door. It's about the spiritual path through change and transition. It will be out sometime this year. I'll keep you posted!

   

Three Reasons Why Change Is So Hard

Posted January 24, 2015

glasses of dirty and clean water


I believe people can change.

I believe in transformation. I even have the effrontery to tell people all the time that they can change their lives if they want to.

But how?

We can learn all about affirmations or meditation or positive thinking, but too often we end up being blocked by core beliefs, the stuff that was installed in us as tiny children when we had no defenses or filters.

We made early decisions, often mistaken, about ourselves and the way the world works. And whether we're aware of those decisions or not, they still might be running our lives.

Because they are continually reinforced!

If you're trying to change your life or reinvent yourself in some way, here's what you're up against:

Mass Consciousness

The world is full of chatter—what's on television or the Internet, what we read, conversations with other people.

Each generation is bombarded with more and more information about what others are thinking, doing and believing.

We are fed health studies, polls and articles. We have access to astrology, psychology and politics—all the ways we try to understand ourselves and label each other.

We also might have in the back of our minds that no matter how well we construct our lives, stuff happens—tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, war, crime, terrorism.

I'm not blaming the media. It's just a mirror. It reflects the fears and interests of the masses.

You'll need conscious courage to buck this tide. Yes, it's all about other people's experience or limiting beliefs, but it's easy to internalize them.

Self-Talk

From the day we are born, we are told things about ourselves.

You have your father's bad feet.

Men die young in our family.

The government, church, other people (fill in the blank) will take everything you've got.

When the old tapes join forces with the hum of Not Good Enough, which most of us have running in the back of our minds, we are thwarted in our attempts to change.

It's possible to hang onto these beliefs for years while wondering why all our efforts to create a better life seem to fail.

Then there's a big one:

The Noosphere

Just as everything you have ever experienced is stored in your subconscious, everything experienced on Earth is stored in the thinking layer of Earth called the noosphere. Noos is Greek for mind.

That means we are swimming in the energy of every war, torture, illness, natural disaster, plague or poverty that ever happened.

No wonder it's so hard to elevate ourselves into something better!

HOWEVER . . .

We're also living in an ocean of all the love, joy, abundance, success, opportunity and surprise that has ever happened on Earth. And it far outweighs the negative.

Many more people are healthy than sick, fed than hungry, loved than hated, at peace than war.

What's negative is just a blip. If a half-hour newscast were balanced between good and bad in the world, the percentage of bad news would go by so fast we couldn't see it.

But that is not our perspective. Instead, it's easy to become overwhelmed

by mass consciousness that is reinforced daily by media, friends and family;

by internalized beliefs we might not even know we have,

and by the influence of the noosphere, where all human experience, thoughts and feelings still reverberate.

How do we get out of this?

Picture a glass of murky lake water. You have an eyedropper, and you can add one drop of pure water at a time. Eventually, someday, the pure water will overcome.

The pure water, of course, is every drop of love, joy or positivity you bring into consciousness.

It's everything you do to make the world a better place—when you commit acts of kindness, when you hold your tongue or let loose with just the right words at the right time, when you stand for peace in our time.

Whenever you make a choice for the good, for the better, that's a drop of purity added to the collective unconscious.

Is it slow and incremental? You bet.

I am beginning to believe that you and I will accomplish less in this lifetime than we might have hoped.

Not through any failure but because eternity is very, very long, and change is made by drops.

I no longer expect many of us will leap from where we are to Jesus' level overnight, if only we can find the right combination of prayer and positive thinking.

But that's no reason not to do everything we can, for as long as we're in human form.

Knowing that we create our experience makes it important to live consciously, to be aware of our thinking every day.

Mass consciousness can be a good thing. It begins in individuals, living lives of peace and sharing love. Eventually there will come a tipping point when that way of thinking takes over and the mass wakes up to well-being.

Drop by drop, we will transform ourselves and the world.

   

The Path to Freedom

Posted January 17, 2015

dandelions


About a month ago, I mentioned to you that I was reading up on forgiveness because I wanted to speak and teach more about it this year.

When I introduced a plan for 99 Days of Forgiveness to the people at my church, I was met with blank stares.

Forgive? Moi?

They sat perfectly still, apparently believing if they didn't move, I couldn't see them. (I've done the same thing when a speaker made me uncomfortable.)

A couple of weeks later, I checked on how they were doing with forgiveness and got the same reaction. Frozen silence. Not hostility. Just deer in headlights.

Why do you think so many of us react with discomfort to the mere mention of forgiveness?

Why does the word put us on high alert? Or cause us to tune out?

Is it guilt for the things we've done that might need forgiving?

Is it guilt that we haven't forgiven some people or events we think we should have?

Is it fear about dredging up painful memories in order to forgive them?

First let me say, no dredging is required.

Forgiveness is not about searching your memory banks to find something you're still feeling angry or hurt about.

It's easier than that.

Here are my suggestions for determining WHAT to forgive:

1. Notice your thoughts during the day. Do they drift to the past, to what someone did or said that still riles you (even if it was yesterday)? Are you rehashing events and feeling them all over again?

OR

2. Ask every morning (ask your higher self, God, whatever you think will answer), “Who or what could I forgive today?” Then see what pops into your mind.

I'm happy to say, not everyone is carrying around a long list of grievances that need forgiving. You might already be pretty clear. Just stay current; notice what crops up from time to time.

When you arrive at something to forgive, the next question is HOW:

Actually, no one is sure. Even the psychological studies can't pinpoint when or how forgiveness takes place.

One day, you just know you have let go.

Rehashing events is not the point, not even desirable, unless you have never told the story before. Then you might need a trusted friend to hear what happened.

By the same token, if you want to forgive something in yourself, saying it out loud to another human can be an enormous relief. The Catholics call it confession. AA's call it a Fifth Step, admitting to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

If there's no human to listen, your soul is always available and never judges. Write, speak or pray to it.

Sometimes it also helps to name your feelings – I'm angry! I'm hurt! I'm disappointed! – rather than keep pushing them away in an effort to be spiritual.

The point is to be honest about what happened and clear about how you feel. Then be willing to move on, to stop feeding the upset with your life's energy.

I believe willingness is the key. Write it down, say it out loud, tell someone, create a ritual – find a way to declare your willingness.

In my personal experience, once I'm willing to forgive, the energy I've been feeling around that person or event begins to subside.

Then one day I realize I've reached neutrality. I can think about it or talk about it without feeling anything in particular.

It starts as roiling emotion, then becomes a simple set of facts, then moves into history.

Sometimes it's even hard to remember what happened.

That's when I know for sure that forgiveness has taken place. When I used to be able to recount exactly what happened – dates, times, he said, then I said, and THEN – but now I can't quite remember.

That's forgiveness, when you can't dredge up the past. It's gone.

And therein lies the freedom.

Forgiveness is a gift to yourself, a release of the heavy memories and murky feelings that hold you down.

It clears space for more good in your life. It brings peace.

The Greek word for forgive means “untie the knot.”

Ahhhhh, doesn't that feel good?

Forgiveness might sound like hard work. But when I decide to untie a few knots? Can't wait to get started today.

   

Can You Be Peace?

Posted January 10, 2015

I Am Charlie protesters


I've been ruminating on the terror attacks in France and what they say about the consciousness of the planet.

That the shooting started in a magazine office hit especially close to home, because I spent so many years as a reporter.

Was it terror or just murder? Why not call it another mass shooting?

It's not the first time someone walked into a business office and opened fire. That's why we're so familiar with the terms “disgruntled former employee” or “going postal.”

The distinction is in the motive. Murder might be triggered by greed, jealousy or revenge. But if someone kills for religious reasons, we now call it terror.

Which means religious people have become the most feared beings on the planet.

This latest attack was especially riveting because it happened in Europe, not confined to the Middle East, and because First World countries like France have sophisticated media outlets. It's easy for reporters from all over the world to show up, and who wouldn't want to cover a big story in Paris?

I have tried to keep in perspective that people are killed every day in sectarian violence; this one just happened in front of the cameras.

Seventeen dead over three days.

Of course there were heroes. In every crisis, we see people doing the right thing, running into danger to save others. One young African Muslim at the Jewish supermarket hid hostages in a walk-in refrigerator.

I remain convinced that the consciousness of the world is rising overall.

That's not just intuition. The numbers show our planet is more peaceful and prosperous than ever before.

What we see on the news are aberrations, not the norm. (That's not a criticism of media; that's the role of news.)

But if we're progressing as a human race, what does it mean that we have these continual outbreaks of religious violence?

For years, I've heard the spiritual teaching that everything in our lives, everything we see on our planet, reflects our collective consciousness.

That means violence and religious intolerance lurk in all of us. These particular terrorists simply expressed it for us, the way a volcano vents steam.

I wonder whether the crowds mourning the magazine staff, holding signs that say “I am Charlie,” would be willing to acknowledge “I am also the terrorists?” Would you?

Listen, I'm not saying we're all evil or violent. But some threads of it have to be stitched within us, or terror attacks would not be in our experience at all, even at a distance.

So what to do?

Be peace. Be the change you wish to see. Let peace begin with me.

Not by ignoring, suppressing or denying the violence we have within us. Instead, shine a light on that shadow and take a look at ourselves individually and as societies.

Our violence might not be physical. But do we kill with gossip or indifference? Or cold, “it's just business” excuses for ruthlessness?

Do we ignore the shocking income inequality on earth and let the poor go hungry? Whatever your politics, most of the world's religions are unequivocal about helping the poor. It's what we're supposed to do.

We can't force others to change so we'll be more comfortable, but we can try to elevate everyone by example.

Remember what David Hawkins wrote in Power vs. Force? Just one person living at a high level of consciousness can offset millions of others at lower levels.

Because of that, humanity on Earth now hovers just above the point at which we are more creative than destructive.

That means any effort to be wiser and more loving, more connected and more awake is worth it. Everything we learn contributes to the whole, the One Mind.

We might not reach the tipping point into worldwide enlightenment during my lifetime. But despite everything, I believe humanity is upgrading itself every day.

Your thoughts might be different. I'd love to read your comments below.

   

What Do You Really Want?

Posted January 3, 2015

words on stones


I know time is manmade, but don't you enjoy the way we pause to note the end of one year and the beginning of the next?

It's a built-in period to reflect on the past and look ahead to the future, to take stock and recalibrate.

Although I long ago gave up those guilt-inducing resolutions, I have learned a new process for focusing on what I really want in my life, and I'm eager to share it with you.

It's simple but profound.

  1. List the things you want in the coming year.
  2. Then go within to ask your soul what they really mean.

I was surprised at the results.

For example, my perennial resolution to lose weight turned into the idea that I might accept my body just as it is, then accept myself just as I am, then even love myself. Oh! What I really want is self-love.

The standard request for more money turned out to be a desire for freedom. No worries about paying bills or getting sick or retiring or being deprived. I really want to free my mind!

So my list changed from Lose Weight and Make Money, which both sound like onerous chores, into Love and Freedom as two of my intentions for the new year. Wow, what a difference!

There were others, of course. Even the intangibles on my list – courage, confidence, inspiration – weren't about what I thought they were. They all had deeper significance.

I was surprised how many of my requests could be consolidated into just a handful of desires. My soul's desires for me.

I did this in a written dialogue with my soul (or higher self, God, angels, whatever you call the divine), but I know writing doesn't work for everyone. You could meditate, go for a walk and talk out loud, use any method that you know brings you into clearer connection with your Self.

how do you want to feel?And I have to give credit where credit is due. My very simplified idea came from Janet Conner in The Lotus and the Lily, where she spells out a much richer and more elaborate process for the weeks leading to the New Year.

I also have used Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map, which is based on her New Year's revelation that the things she wanted were actually about the feelings she desired.

To feel happy, sexy, creative, fulfilled – you can come up with your own list.

Declaring your desires attracts the events and people who will help bring about the feelings you want.

And of course it's different for everyone. A new car for one person represents the security of reliable transportation, while for another it's the freedom of flying down the highway with the wind in your hair.

The point is, it's the feeling you really want, the shift in consciousness. And the feeling might or might not come through the channel you expect.

So I would encourage you to try this before you get too far into the new year.

  1. Write what you want
  2. Ask what it really means

Then you can ditch the checklist of things you ought to do, and go forward expecting love or freedom or joy or peace in your life this year.

Sounds like a lot more fun, doesn't it?

I would love to hear how it turns out!

   




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