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Say Something Nice

Posted December 26, 2014

The world might seem a little scary as we enter the new year. Take three minutes to restore your faith in humanity.



Happy New Year to You!!


   

And Now a Word from Your Angels

Posted December 20, 2014

stained glass angel


Christmas doesn't mean what it used to, for me.

Not that I've lost my childlike wonder. Actually, I was a pretty skeptical little kid.

I mean I no longer celebrate the birth of just one divine child.

Instead, Christmas has come to represent the divinity born in you and me, in every person on the planet.

No matter how we behave at the level of personality, we are God walking around in human form.

Christmas now is a reminder that angels sing at every birth, and each human life is another chance to bring peace on earth and good will to all people.

So whatever your age this Christmas, I hope you will celebrate the divine essence that was born in you, as you.

And this week, I'm going to try to notice – at least once a day – the divine in someone else, the sacred in a moment, or the light of God around me.

I invite you to join me in this little practice.

Look up right now. What do you see that's holy?

May your Christmas be merry and bright.

   

Creating Space for Good

Posted December 13, 2014

Burning Bowl ceremony


The end of the year is always a good time to look back and let go.

Let go of whatever you do not want to carry with you into 2015. Let go of old hurts and grudges, disappointments and difficulties.

Even if your problems aren't much different next year, you can be different.

So get ready. Clear space for all the good that is waiting for you, within and without you.

In my church, we write down everything we want to leave behind in the old year – bad memories, painful events, even some of our own qualities -- then go outside and throw our lists in a fire. What a freeing, cleansing act of release!

We shift our attitudes about the past and let go of any lingering ill feelings.

And it occurred to me, that's the very definition of forgiveness.

I plan to write and speak more about forgiveness next year, so I've been researching it. There's a wealth of information out there! Tools, processes, books, teachers.

Want to know what they are? Here are a few promising ones:

RELEASE YOUR PRISONERS

I've been doing some of my own forgiveness work in an online class taught by Janet Conner, author of The Lotus and Lily, and she offers the most powerful forgiveness meditation I've ever experienced.

It's a 10-minute process to release all those people you've been holding hostage in your head. You can listen here. It's Day 19, Release Your Prisoners.

I think I have also shared with you Janet's Perfect Prayer. She was given the prayer during a crisis in her son's life. It covers any and all eventualities for those you love.

The Divine in me, through me, and as me,

Blesses ___________,

Honors his soul's divinely appointed mission,

And showers him with grace.

Turns out the prayer also works for forgiveness. Just insert the name of the person you want to forgive.

Argh, sometimes I have grit my teeth to see the other person showered with God's grace.

But I know, I know, God loves them as much as me, that they are just as divine as I am. They are expressions of God on earth, no matter how they showed up in my life.

EMBRACE THE TEACHERS

And the way they showed up might not be an accident. They might have volunteered to teach me, to help me work through and heal my own wounds. (Yes, by inflicting further wounds!)

Heck, our souls might have agreed to this scenario before we came in.

Even so, I have to deal with it now.

In his classic book, Radical Forgiveness, Colin Tipping distinguishes between radical and traditional forgiveness.

  • Traditional forgiveness is when you let go of the anger and anguish about something that happened to you. You might not love the other person, but you no longer allow them to control your life by hating them.
  • Radical forgiveness is to realize no wrong was done in the first place. You learn to embrace events as perfect for your soul's growth.

It takes spiritual maturity even to consider this possibility, but it's the logical extension of unconditional love. (Tons of stuff on his website.)

CREATE JOY, FIND HOPE

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who chaired South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, has a new book this year about forgiveness, written with his daughter Mpho, who is also an Episcopal priest.

In The Book of Forgiving, they list four important steps to healing:

  1. Telling the story
  2. Naming the hurt
  3. Granting forgiveness
  4. Renewing or releasing the relationship

Despite all Tutu witnessed and the horror stories he has heard, he still maintains: “There is nothing that cannot be forgiven, and there is no one undeserving of forgiveness.”

Rage and revenge after apartheid would have destroyed South Africa, he said.

Imagine being in a leadership position during such a raw and uncertain time! Yet he firmly believes in the goodness and resiliency of human beings.

“In each of us there is an innate ability to create joy out of suffering, to find hope in the most hopeless of situations and to heal any relationship in need of healing,” he and Mpho wrote.

I've signed up for their 30-day Global Forgiveness Challenge to see what I can learn.

I would love for you to share any methods of forgiveness that have worked for you and the changes you have experienced. Let me know in the comment section below. Or if you hit reply, your email returns to me privately.

As the year draws to a close, I see you flinging your arms to the sky, releasing anything that no longer serves you, and opening to all your good!

   

"I Work at Staying Awake"

Posted December 6, 2014

OprahConfession: I was procrastinating on today's blog and decided to watch a little of Oprah being interviewed earlier this year by students at Stanford's Graduate School of Business.

Oh my gosh, you've gotta see this!

I only planned to watch a few minutes, but I couldn't turn it off and took pages of notes.

It's fascinating because she talks about how she combines spirituality with business and leadership, and how the key to her personal and worldly success has been listening to her inner voice.

“I am really guided by a force that's bigger than myself,” she said.

I love that she talked so openly in a business setting about integrating the human and divine.

Other tidbits:

“My real contributions, the reason why I'm here, is to connect people to themselves and the higher ideas of consciousness. I'm here to raise consciousness.”

“I work at staying awake.”

“Everybody wants to fulfill the highest, truest expression of yourself as a human being. That's what you're looking for.”

“I have hit my stride, but I haven't done what I ultimately came to do. There still is a supreme moment of destiny that awaits me.”

And all that money?

“My feet stayed on the ground although I was wearing better shoes.”



Watch it here and leave a comment if you like.

I know Oprah is familiar to us all, but some of this was new to me. And some of the students' questions left her speechless!

It lasts an hour, longer than I would usually sit still for a video, but I hope you like it as much as I did.

   




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