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What's Waiting Downstream?

Posted February 25, 2017

waterfall of light

I've been getting pushback lately from people who say they don't want to focus on a vision for the future because they're afraid they'll miss the present moment.

You know I'm a believer in visioning. It signals the universe which direction you want to go. As soon as you take a step in that direction, the universe (one Presence, one Power) rushes to meet you.

Having a vision for the future sets the wheels in motion for it to manifest. Your subconscious mind goes to work on making it happen, and so does your Higher Self.

But we also are admonished to live in the present moment, go with the flow, and love what is.

So it's worthwhile to ask: How do we reconcile a future vision with living today?

THE BIG DREAM

First, we might want to redefine having a vision for the future. There are two ways to vision.

One is to use your power of imagination to dream big. What would you really love? Not what you think is possible, not what you can figure out how to do, but what you would LOVE if there were no obstacles.

That's an effective method used by thousands upon thousands of people to improve their lives. We're not forcing our will, but working in concert with the Infinite.

cement workersMary Morrissey says it's as if a cement truck were coming down the street to your house, ready to pour its malleable substance into any shape you want. Your job is to build a frame for it. Do you want a patio? A sidewalk? A retaining wall?

The creative substance that surrounds us will take any form you lay out. It's going to be poured into SOME form – you can't NOT create your life – so you might as well choose what you would like. Create a vision for your future.

The drawback to this method is that so many people believe they should not decide what's best for them. They say they don't know what they need or want. Some higher power should be building the form their lives will take. They're don't want to live from ego or will.

Personally, I think they might be confusing ego with imagination.

I know some people worry they are edging God out if they imagine the future they want. But a real vision requires the help of a higher power.
If you already know how to do something, it's not a vision, it's just a goal.

THE LIFE IN PROGRESS

There is another way to vision that you might like, too, recommended by spiritual teachers from Charles Fillmore to Wayne Dyer to Martha Beck.

Their method of visioning is not merely to think up the best life you can imagine. It's to feel into Infinite Mind to discern what WANTS to happen.

Michael Beckwith calls it “catching the vision.”

He says Spirit is already at work everywhere, and our job is to find out what's happening and join with it.

Your vision is still coming from within. It's connecting with your Higher Self to carry out the plans you made for this lifetime, or to find your soul's purpose. In a sense, it's remembering why you came.

This is not predestination – we always have choices – and it's not God's will being imposed on you whether you like it or not.

It's also not abdicating all thought or responsibility for what happens in your life and calling it surrender.

This is allowing a vision to emerge through you.

You seek what wants to happen, ask for guidance, then cooperate with the version of yourself that has a higher vantage point than you can see from the human level.

Both methods are like spreading your wings to be lifted by the wind. You have a role to play, you still participate, but there is a stronger presence to carry you higher and farther than you could have accomplished alone.

MEANWHILE, IN THE PRESENT

Now, what about the present moment and going with the flow?

Here's the thing about going with the flow: The future you want is downstream.

When you ask for guidance from a higher power or allow your imagination to be fired by divine ideas, you are stepping into a current that is already sweeping toward your growth and awakening.

Being in the present moment doesn't mean clinging to a branch on the riverbank so you can stay in the same spot. In this moment, you can let go and allow yourself to start bobbing downstream.

When you are creating from your deepest desires or highest consciousness, you are in the flow of becoming.

couple tubing on riverIn Texas where I live, people love to go tubing on the rivers here in the Hill Country. You just plunk your behind into a big innertube and let the green river you carry you lazily downstream under the shade of oaks and cypress.

Along the way, you can float in dappled sunlight and spy into the yards of river dwellers. You can appreciate the cool water on a warm day and relax, trusting you have everything you need to stay afloat.

But you're always moving. The current is carrying you downstream toward something different. The movement is in the present moment.

TODAY CREATES TOMORROW

So yes, it's possible to say, “I want to go downstream,” and simply let yourself be carried. But it's slow.

Even better is to participate. Ask yourself every day: What's one step I could take today in the direction of my dream?

The action might be practical, like a phone call or Internet research. But it also might be acting as if your vision is already here. What does the person you want to become say, do, read, believe? Start being that person.

Your thoughts have creative power. That means your thoughts today are creating your future.

The present moment is where you learn and grow and become the person who will live into the life you imagine. The vision simply allows you to know where the stream is headed.

   

Can Your Thoughts Heal Your Body?

Posted February 17, 2017

An interesting thing happened in the class I'm teaching called Healing and Wholeness.

I asked the students to watch a 30-minute video about the spiritual laws that make it possible to heal ourselves, and the discussion afterwards was intense!

So I thought you might like to see it.



This is Terry McBride, a longtime speaker in Unity and Centers for Spiritual Living, who tells his story of healing horrific physical problems with the power of mind over body.

He has three main points, based on the idea that you are OF God, part of divine essence.

  1. You're already whole/holy.
  2. You have infinite power backing up your belief, the same power Jesus had, and a right to use it.
  3. You must use this power to help yourself first.

Not everyone in class believed it's possible simply to demand you be healed. Some saw it as ego-driven, insisting on your own will.

Terry would call it using your spiritual authority. He has no patience with people who tell a sick person, “Healing may not include your body,” or “God has a bigger plan for your life.”

He insists the power of the divine responds to your belief. Jesus didn't say, whatever you ask for in prayer is yours already, unless you have a soul contract, or karma, or God has a bigger plan.

I've also heard Terry say, “The only thing that 'goes with the flow' is a dead fish.”

This video is a shot of pure, undiluted absolutism about the spiritual laws of healing, and you might be inspired by it.

A few things to know:

  • Terry can be, um, melodramatic. His style pushed some people's buttons.
  • He's speaking at a Center for Spiritual Living, so he quotes Ernest Holmes, who developed the Science of Mind. (I love Ernest.) When Terry speaks at Unity centers, he quotes founders Charles and Myrtle Fillmore. But the principles they taught are the same.
  • The video ends before he finished his talk, so you don't hear exact details about how he healed his body. For that, read his book, The Hell I Can't, which was his answer to all the doctors who told him he couldn't walk again or expect ever to be well.

See whether this stirs you up as much as it did some students in my class. I'd love to know what you think, pro or con. Email me, or leave a comment on the website.

   

This Little Light of Mine

Posted February 11, 2017

word art

I talk all time about letting your divine light shine, being a light in world, expressing your divine essence.

Sounds nice, but how exactly do you turn up the light? Where's the dimmer switch?

I think it has to start with words. Granted, I may be overly attached to finding the right words as a way to solve all the world's problems. I write, I speak, I'm a text-only kinda girl.

But the great thing about being careful with words is that it forces us to re-evaluate our thoughts. We can calibrate our consciousness when we take a little time to decide what we want our words to reflect.

Should we blurt out our immediate reactions? Blanket a situation with our fears? Target other people with our judgments?

We've probably all done exactly that.

But what if we took an extra moment or two to reframe the way we want to respond?

So many situations around us seem to warrant an outcry, and I'm not saying you have to be compliant to whatever happens.

But let's return to the familiar question, What can you be for instead of against?

A few examples:

President Trump's travel ban on refugees and visitors from seven mostly Muslim countries. What are the words you have used to describe your feelings about it, whether you approve or not?

If you would prefer a different policy, you don't have to be against Trump. You can be for travel and immigration without regard to religion.

If you like the policy, you don't have to be against Muslims. You can be for a careful vetting of any people invited into the United States, or for secure borders, or for a re-evaluation of all immigration policy.

Here's an easier example: It's raining. You can be against the mess and inconvenience that might delay your plans or ruin your hair, or you can be grateful for fresh water, grateful the earth is being nourished.

It might take a few extra seconds to stop and think what you are for instead of reacting to events. But it elevates your thinking and allows you to see life from a higher level. Eventually to see as God sees.

If you need further encouragement to choose words carefully, remember they will be reflected back to you.

This happens in the simplest, most human terms. If you're grumpy, people tend to be grumpy with you. Smile and the world smiles with you.

And your words (actually your energetic vibrations) will be reflected from that great mirror in the sky. Call it the universe or a reality creation machine -- it matches your consciousness exactly.

When you take a few seconds to choose different words, it elevates your thoughts, which shifts your energy, which creates a new and better reflection from the people around you and from the responsive universe.

You not only will be more pleasant to live with (and to live with yourself), but you will begin to notice more good actually coming into your life.

With a little practice, you will see how easy it is to let your light shine. And how bright it has become.

   

Where Is the Door to Peace and Sanity?

Posted February 4, 2017

hallway

The world is in a mass hallway.

Doors seem to have closed on life as we knew it, and change is in the air. But what is behind the new doors we are opening?

For years, I have used the hallway as a metaphor for change, and even wrote a book about it.

We enter individual hallways, but we also go through hallways in groups – for example, an office staff waiting to find out who gets laid off or who the new boss will be.

We go through hallways as societies, too, and even as the human race.

Maybe not all humans on the planet are feeling a sense of uncertainty, but the news would indicate many are, in many countries, on many levels.

America, of course, has a new president, and all presidents come into office promising change. Political parties want philosophical shifts as well, and half of our divided country is almost guaranteed to oppose them.

The ongoing changes reach far beyond politics, however, and have been under way for years.

WHAT ARE OUR HALLWAYS?

Personally, I think the United States entered a hallway on 9-11 and has yet to emerge. Terrorism works because it terrifies us. We seem to be nurturing fears about all the bad things that could happen and reacting in ways that may or may not be necessary or effective. Is there a way back to peace?

Meanwhile, homegrown violence takes a toll on our psyches, at least in the United States. Gun deaths are increasing, including mass shootings, and it has begun to feel as if any crowd – school, church, restaurant or nightclub – creates sitting ducks for the next shooter. Security measures have increased, too, but we still don't know how or whether this will end.

Schools, at least in the United States, seem to be failing many of their students. Teachers complain about parents. Legislatures complain about teachers. Students seem to experience the same inequalities we see in the economy: Some excel brilliantly while others drop out entirely. College results in massive debt for many graduates, and others question the value of a college education at all.

Health care is an ongoing issue, and not only in the structure of providing and paying for services. Healing is the real test, or better yet, wellness. Even as we have opened doors to alternative healing methods and healthy living, Americans for years have been sicker and more likely to die young than those in other wealthy countries.

My point is not to be negative but to identify the hallways we are in. And, of course, to ask how we might get out of them.

I don't have specific solutions, and I'm grateful to the many people working at the earthly, three-dimensional level to try to solve these problems.

But are there spiritual solutions?

WHAT TO DO IN THE HALLWAY

The hallway is a spiritual journey, and its four basic elements are the same regardless of circumstances.

Acceptance. This is simply acknowledging the way things are now, looking at the facts. Life has changed.

No matter how awful things might seem, one question might shift your perspective entirely: What if this is not happening TO me but FOR me?

In our mass hallways, what if these changes are happening FOR us? Maybe this is how it looks on the way to something wonderful.

Surrender. This means giving up the stubborn belief that life should be fair or make sense in any given moment. Surrender is a sense of peace, trusting all is well, and that's a feeling you can choose.

The difference in acceptance and surrender is that acceptance is based on facts and logic. You're letting go of what you would prefer and acknowledging what is.

Surrender is letting it be okay. Surrender is where you tap into a higher power to ask for help or guidance, to ask for meaning or lessons or whatever you need to know.

Forgiveness. The Greek word means “to untie the knot.” We often enter hallways knotted in some way – angry, blaming, afraid. Because the hallway means life has changed, and there's nearly always someone or something to forgive.

Our mass hallways are rife with forgiveness possibilities: Candidates, political parties, terrorists, people of other religions, people who use violence to solve problems, the entire education system, the massive medical and pharmaceutical complex, plus anyone who sees the world differently.

When we find ourselves in mass hallways, we might need to practice mass forgiveness.

It helps to stay focused on the question, Could this be happening FOR me? Because if that's the case, then all the people you perceive as problems are just playing their roles in order to bring about your ultimate good.

Prayer. This might seem obvious, but sometimes I worry about a problem for a long time before I remember to pray about it.

In these mass hallways, it's not always clear what to pray for. Good thing we don't have to know the best outcome! We simply affirm that we are open to the best outcome and trust it will become evident.

A useful prayer, whether you are praying for individuals or masses of people, is the Buddhist prayer of lovingkindness.

There are many variations, but I like this one for mass hallways:

May I be at peace.
May my heart remain open.
May I realize the beauty of my own true nature.
May I be healed.
May I be a source of healing for this world.

May you be at peace.
May your heart remain open.
May you realize the beauty of your own true nature.
May you be healed.
May you be a source of healing for this world.

It's hard to hate someone you're praying for.

WHAT IS MINE TO DO?

We know from our individual experiences that sometimes the events that seem worst in our lives turn out to be best, or at least grant us growth and understanding.

The same must be true of mass hallways.

Whatever the uncertainty for the future of our countries and our planet, we can keep our hearts open and realize the beauty of humanity's true nature. We can ask “what is mine to do” to be a source of healing for this world.

And we can remember that every hallway comes to an end. Eventually we will find the right doors to walk through into a better life.

   




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